How To Set Default Roles In Discord

Roles in Discord are assigned to users and provide distinct permissions controlling how they use the channel and what they can do within it. They are like roles in guilds, server roles or even job roles. A set of permissions and responsibilities that define how users interact on your server or channel. This tutorial is going to explain roles and show you how to set default roles in Discord.


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There are different roles within a server that have certain permissions. There are default roles created by Discord and server owners can create their own. You assign permissions to roles to control who can do what on your server.

For example, the default role is called ‘@everyone’ and has read, write and chat permissions. An administrator role will have those permissions but also permission to mute, kick, ban, delete messages, rename channels and perhaps other permissions. Some permissions are granted as part of the role but you can control what permissions a user may be granted for any role within your server.

Set roles in Discord

Setting roles is a key task when setting up a Discord server. You need a hierarchy to control what happens on your server and to give helpers the tools they need to assist. You can use the defaults provided by Discord as they cover most things but you can also define your own roles if you see gaps.

To create a role in Discord, do this:

  1. Log into your Discord server in the usual way.
  2. Select the dropdown arrow to the right of the server and select Server Settings.
  3. Select Roles from the left menu and select the small ‘+’ above @everyone in the center.
  4. Name the new role something meaningful and assign it a color.
  5. Add permissions from the list on the right by toggling each on or off.
  6. Select Save Changes once finished.

Set roles in Discord using mobile

  1. Login to your discord app on mobile.
  2. Choose a server you want to set a new role.
  3. Select the three dots icon.
  4. Select the gear icon.
  5. Choose roles and then click the “+” sign.
  6. Name the new role something meaningful and assign it a color.
  7. Add permissions from the list on the right by toggling each on or off.
  8. Select create to save.

You will need to repeat this process for every role you want to create. Assign each a different color as colors are important in Discord’s hierarchy.

Default roles in Discord

There are only two default roles in Discord. Server owner and @everyone. If you set up the server, you’re automatically the owner. Anyone who joins your server is automatically @everyone until you assign them a role. There is a bot that lets you automatically assign roles if you want to. It is called Tatsumaki.

Tatsumaki is an admin bot that seeks to help with the smooth running of your server. Among the messaging, bot chat and other neat features, the bot can automatically assign a role other than @everyone when someone joins. Arguably the @everyone role should be perfectly fine for the vast majority of people but if you want something different, this bot is one of the ways to get it.

Roles are nothing without permissions

In Discord, roles are simply job titles. It’s the permissions assigned to those titles that give them their power. There are 29 different permissions you can assign within a server, offering all manner of combinations. This guide at Discord does a decent job of explaining how it all works but I’ll cover it briefly here.

Permissions are divided into three logical categories, General, Text and Voice. You will see them all in the Roles panel in the Discord app and can scroll through each to see what they do and how they affect the running of your server. Discord has added a helpful guide underneath each permission setting to give you a good idea of what each means.

I won’t repeat it all here but if you’re setting up a Discord server, you’re going to need to know at least a little about how roles and permissions work together to help manage your server.

Assigning roles to users

Unless you use Tatsumaki, everyone who joins your server will join the @everyone role until you assign them something different. As your server grows, you will need to assign roles to people you trust in order for them to help you run things.

Here’s how:

  1. Select the user you want to assign a role to from the right panel in Discord.
  2. Select the little ‘+’ in the small popup menu under Role.
  3. Select the role from the dropdown menu that appears.
  4. Repeat for every user and ever role you want to assign.

Once done, you should have a hierarchy of people with different roles who can assist in the smooth running of your server. You can tweak these on the fly or leave them as is depending on your needs.

Roles and permissions are pivotal in running a Discord server. If you’re setting one up for the first time, learning these will take a lot longer than the physical setup of the server but will benefit you in a massive way. Good luck with it!